Saturday, December 26, 2015

Eloise the Eastern Screech Owl Comes Home for Release

I got a call from Lynne McCoy on Tuesday, December 22 saying that the Eastern Screech Owl that we had taken to her was ready to be released.  We found out that our owl was a female and my oldest son Sebastian named her Eloise aka Ellie for short! She was clutching with her foot now and putting weight on it and she was ready to come home. We arranged to go pick her up the following day.

Sebastian and I headed out to go pick her up in the morning and when we got there we met Lynne McCoy and most of her animals that she keeps as teaching animals. These animals were injured severely and were not able to be released back into the wild. We met Little Dude and Beauty(they had been hit by cars), two beautiful barred owls that greeted us with their signature, "who who, who whooo" which sounds a lot like "who cooks for you?" Little Dude decided to be a rascal and flew over our heads out into the room and proceeded to zoom over us before going back into his enclosure. We met several Eastern Screech Owls, some red morphs and gray morphs, who had all been hit by cars and injured. Grumpy and Snarfy, two Great Horned Owls and two Red Tailed Hawks named Jet and Ladyhawk  had all been deliberately shot and injured.
Lynne McCoy has been helping injured animals for over 35+ years. Here is a link to her picture blog where you can see all the animals that she has helped for each year! My son Sebastian took the photos below!

Here are Snarfy and Grumpy(left to right)!

Lil' Dude

 A VERY sleepy Eloise just before her release!



Here is our video of Eloise the Eastern Screech Owl's release!

video
We released her around 5 pm, just before dark! Eloise was MUCH feistier than when we initially met and clicked at me to let me know she was not going to put up with any such nonsense. We tried just opening the box but she wouldn't fly out, soooo we had to try again and I had to help her out a little. This is round 2. She flew into the woods to safety back where she belongs! The video is grainy so we slowed it down so you could see her fly! Music in the video is from DiscoveryDinosaurs, Super-Cute Video of Dinosaur Babies!



Friday, December 18, 2015

An Eastern Screech Owl, Red Morph

WOW! I can't believe it has been almost a month since I posted last. I have been incredibly crazy busy lately with homeschooling, knitting, new winter beads, a few custom orders and my daughter's eye surgery(nothing serious, she just had to have her tear duct unclogged and it literally took less than 10 minutes! She is doing excellent!) On top of that I had an amazing surprise the other morning. I had gotten up early on Wednesday morning to make some beads and my husband woke up around 8:30 am. He was letting our dog Daisy out in the backyard and quickly ran back inside and said, "You have to get outside now and help it, QUICKLY!" Well I was incredibly puzzled as to WHAT in the world it could be and WHAT would need my help so urgently...the chickens were still cooped and hadn't been let out for the morning yet, so I at least eliminated them. I am definitely no stranger to wild animals, amphibians, insects and reptiles on our property since we live in the country and I have had to rescue a few here and there so I expected a snake or something of that nature. I rushed outside as quick as I could and literally my jaw dropped open. There entangled in the deer netting around our backyard was an Eastern Screech Owl that was struggling to free itself....and when I say struggling, I mean it was flapping as hard as it could and was so exhausted it could barely keep itself upright. My heart dropped and I immediately ran to get my leather gloves from the barn and yelled at my husband to go get the scissors. I ran to the outside of the fence and gently clutched the owl in my hands. I was terrified but not of the owl or getting hurt...only that the owl might die. It's left talon was twisted and entangled terribly in the netting. My husband returned quickly with the scissors and I cut the owl free of the netting and got to work on removing the rest from around it's left foot and talon. I gently snipped piece after piece of the netting away and had to remove my gloves to be able to get the smaller pieces....the poor owl was in shock so I new he wasn't going to hurt me....I just wanted to free it's foot as quickly as possible so it might have a chance to live. I was finally able to remove all of the netting and I gently held the owl in my hands. Since we have chickens and I have treated an injured chicken that was in shock, I knew it was important to keep the owl warm and give it a little water so it didn't die from the shock....I held it until it finally started to perk up a little and brought it inside and put it into one of the cages we use for the chickens when they are injured...I put a sheet in the bottom and sat the owl gently in the cage and covered it with a blanket to make it dark. By now I knew the owl's foot was injured and it would need some type of help so I begin to look for a wildlife rehabilitator and came across several phone numbers. After speaking to several people it was decided that a woman named Lynn McCoy would be my best bet since she was the closest to me but still about an hour away. I spoke with her and she said that of course she would take the owl and it was perfect timing because she had two other Screech Owls on their way to the vet the next morning. So I made plans to drop the owl off with one of her volunteers about 30 minutes away. So I was hopeful that the owl would be okay. I called the next day and she said that the owl had been in good spirits that morning and it was definitely able to fly so it would just be a matter of what the vet decided about the left foot. After waiting a few hours more, we finally got the news: The owl would indeed be able to make a full recovery and it would take anywhere from 1-2 weeks. The talon DID have feeling and it was injured mostly where the blood supply had been cut off for the time it was entangled. I asked her if it would be able to be released back here since it's home is here and she said, "Well normally they head straight for home when they are released but if you would like to come and pick up the owl and release it back where you live then that would be fine too!" I literally started jumping up and down in my mind because I was still on the phone but WOW WOW WOW! What an amazing opportunity!!!! I absolutely LOVE owls and have heard them often but have never seen one so close and definitely NEVER touched one. I feel so very blessed to have been able to see one of God's magnificent creatures so very close. It was absolutely beautiful and more incredible than I could have ever imagined. What's amazing is that the owl never once tried to nip or bite me, almost like it KNEW we were trying to help it. I never ceased to be amazed at God's creation and carry great respect for everything He has created. I felt horrible about the owl getting caught in the deer netting because I NEVER thought that in a million years that could happen....the wildlife rehabilitator said that it is not a common occurrence but does indeed happen sometimes. We have the deer netting up around our backyard because it keeps our chickens from flying over the fences and wandering when we don't want them to free range without our knowledge. We put it up after our hen Twinkle was killed by a neighborhood husky. So if you have deer netting remember to ALWAYS check it to make sure small animals, birds and reptiles haven't become tangled in the netting. I have had to free a beautiful black rat snake and a very large dragonfly(it sat on my hand after I freed it and nipped me lightly as a thank you then flew off!)before as well that became tangled in the netting but never even considered that an owl would get caught. It is only a guess but I  think it most likely got caught trying to fly down and get a mouse or something that it saw in our backyard because it was clutching the netting in it's talon like they do when they dive for prey. So I will definitely post again when we bring the owl back for release and we should know then if it is a male or female! I also am going to start volunteering in the Spring at the wildlife sanctuary about an hour from here...Spring means babies!:) SO EXCITING! I will keep ya posted! Here are some photos that my son Sebastian took of the owl....He is an ever budding photographer and LOVES taking photos(sometimes incessantly, but I am so glad he was able to document this event! A special thanks to him for capturing these photos and videos!) And if your interest is piqued at all, check out this page from allaboutbirds.org about the Eastern Screech Owl! They are amazing creatures and absolutely beautiful! In the meantime, stay tuned!:)
Feelin' better!




video
This is a compilation of videos that my son Sebastian took as we were getting the owl ready to go. The owl was very curious about us! It held on with it's talon as I was trying to get it out and I had to gently touch it's talon with my finger to get it to let go. After watching the video yesterday, I realized that the owl unclenches it's injured talon towards the end of the video! Music in the video is from DiscoveryDinosaurs, Super-Cute Video of Dinosaur Babies!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very HAPPY HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY! I hope you had a fantastic day filled with much love and thanks! I pray that you will be blessed for the rest of this year and the coming year ahead! There is ALWAYS so much to be thankful for in our lives!:)


O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34


I finished a little knitting project up this morning while I sipped spiced apple cider and waited for the turkey to get finished. It is aptly titled: Thanksgiving and Some Spiced Cider Cowl! I hope you like it!
I used Malabrigo Chunky yarn in the Sunset colorway and the 2x2 knitting pattern by tincanknits! It is free on Ravelry! This was my first cable pattern and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I definitely will be knitting more cables in the future...very soon!:) Let me know whatcha think!





                           

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Daisy vs the Granola Bar

So ever wonder what happens when you leave your granola bar on your table in the reach of your dog who LOVES to rogue food? Well take a look!

video

Our dog Daisy is notorious for stealing food. She is a large dog and she can easily reach her nose up to steal whatever she comes to find. My oldest son Sebastian accidentally left his granola bar on the table and of course she stole it! He filmed this video after he caught her in the act!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fall Splendor

I took these photos the other day of some of the trees, leaves and grasses in our field. I absolutely LOVE fall! I have been playing with different types of filters lately in photography and I really love the ones that give the photos a vintage feel! What do ya think?


A blackberry leaf

From our winged elm tree!

Another blackberry leaf!

 Our crabapple tree! The apples on these trees never get very big and they don't taste like traditional apples. They are sour, bitter, sweet all at once and have a hint of orange citrus flavor. They are definitely unusual and very refreshing. You have to be careful not to eat the seeds though because like all apple seeds they are poisonous! We aren't sure exactly what type of crabapple this is but it is in the Malus family because it is covered with very painful thorns. Anybody have any ideas?


An incredibly tiny maple tree growing in our field!

A beautiful sumac tree!

A thistle flower hanging around still!


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Shrimp Shrimp Away....

I had a custom order a while back that involved making shrimp beads! They were created for a customer Missy and her daughter Becca who makes jewelry. Her daughter needed some shrimp beads for a custom order and was unable to find any! Since it was such an unusual request, I decided to try my hand at a shrimp! It was definitely the first time I had ever made shrimp beads and  I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how to make a shrimp and was pleased with how they turned out!  Here are the shrimp beads!




And here is the end result:

A super cute beaded wrap bracelet!

Here is a link to Becca's Etsy shop:

Please take a peek at her shop! She has lots of super cute jewelry pieces and they would make great gifts for yourself or for someone that you know!

Here is a link to Missy's Etsy shop:

Is your planner in need of a makeover? Missy sells cute little planner goodies! They will help add a little something to that boring planner and help brighten up your day!

Thanks again for allowing me to create something unique for ya!:) Enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Cobbled Cowl for a Friend!

So I have been knitting now for about a month! I have finished 2 cowls now and probably could have done more BUT I didn't knit every single day! I finally got the hang of how to hold your yarn with continental knitting so I have literally shaved 3 minutes off my knitting time....I have a tendency to kind of zone out with knitting anyway but it felt like it was taking forever before so I hope I can get much faster but still be efficient! So the first cowl was for my husband BUT I made a mistake for the entire cowl and thus it ended up a little wonky, which is why that one didn't get a debut!Hehe! I guess my only consolation was that I at least made the same mistake the entire cowl!:) So after that I was determined to make another one and do it right this time! My friend Mary Cullinan of Jubilee on Etsy lives in a very cold climate SO I thought I would knit her a cowl to keep her snuggly in the winter!:)(Please check out her shop and blog if you get a chance, there are links to the right! Just click and away you go! Really, she makes AWESOME ceramic and raku beads and little houses that I LOVE!) So here is my first official, non-messed up cowl! I used MadelineTosh Vintage in the firewood colorway and it is very, very pretty. It reminds me more of the woods than it does firewood but I get the name! The pattern was by Annie Riley called Cobbled Cowl and she has some fantastic patterns if you knit! Here is a link to her website: http://www.somethingaboutyarn.com 
She does yarn too! How fantastic is that?!?! I hope to get my hands on some of her yarn soon!:)Thanks for a fantastic pattern Annie! I will definitely be using some more in the future!

So I hope you like it Mary and I hope it keeps ya warm with all that snow!:)




Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hiking Margarette Falls in the Cherokee National Forest

Yesterday my parents came down and wanted to go hiking so we could see all of the leaves changing....sooooo that's what we did! We packed a picnic lunch, the baby sling for my daughter and plenty of water and we were off. We hiked a trail called Margarette Falls that lies in the Cherokee National Forest. It was a fairly tough trail, especially considering that it was up a rocky and steep slope most of the way AND considering the fact that I was carrying my 32 lb 2 year old daughter in a front sling the majority of the way, made for one tough hike! She slept in the sling the last 3/4 of the hike up the hill!:)  The trees were absolutely gorgeous with many yellow maples, red maples and lots of sweet birch trees amongst my favorites. There were lots of tiny waterfalls before we got to the major one at the top but each was lovely in it's own right. When we got to the top, needless to say I was exhausted but the view was absolutely gorgeous! There was a nice breeze blowing from the waterfall and it helped to cool things down! It was soooo very much fun and we enjoyed the time we were all able to spend together. Here are some pictures that I took yesterday with my camera....my mom took a lot of pictures too but I will have to get those from her....but for now...here are the ones of our hike! I can't wait until next time!:)
My son Sebastian took these two photos of us on the rock before we started!





The trail before the steep and rocky grade!

At one point my oldest son and I were racing just to have fun! We hadn't gotten to the rocky uphill part yet!


You can tell from the look on my daughter's face that she thought it was GREAT fun! My son took these two pictures while we were racing! Kiri said, "Eat my dust, Brother!"







Margarette Falls!



My boys!

My husband Chad and I and our sleeping baby koala bear, Kiri!:)





Kiri finally woke up after we had come back down the steep, rocky parts and decided to take off!:) She only had to walk for a few hundred feet! Riding in the front pack is apparently the way to go!:)